UEA through the eyes of an Erasmus student

I’ve learnt some weird things while at UEA

When I was packing my bags for my semester at UEA, I found a lot of websites with funny images of my country and my country’s people.

One of my biggest talents is procrastinating, so I read them all, and then went looking to find the same thing for England and prepare myself for life at UEA.

Nothing prepared me.

But after two months of living here (don’t remind me that I have to leave soon and speak my first language – I don’t want to!), I’ve come to appreciate the weirdness of UEA.

It’s strange – but I love it

One thing UEA is famous for now in my eyes: fire drills.

Why does UEA have so many fire drills? Ok, it might be good to have fire drills a few times a year, but multiple times a week?

One time my lecture ended early because of a drill so I headed to the library to study, but oh, it was not possible to go there, because there was a fire drill.

Enough is enough.

And how are the library floors numbered?

In most countries, the floors of buildings are -2, -1, 0, 1 and 2. But that’s too mainstream for UEA.

Let’s put a 0 in front of the number and make it even more confusing for foreign students. Result: me running around as a third year not being able to find anything and having people think I’m an 18-year-old fresher.

It doesn’t make sense

Another thing that’s confused me is being called European by all of you – I don’t know if it’s positive or negative. Dear Brits: just because you don’t feel European doesn’t mean you’re any different – the only difference is we have Euros.

Money, that’s another thing. Just when you get used to pounds, you find out that you’re actually quite poor.

But you still want to have a hot lunch. Just when you give up hope, you discover INTO and find out it’s way cheaper than the Campus Kitchen, and that the food is really good for £3.50.

SO much better than Campus Kitchen

Now onto the LCR. When I arrived, I didn’t know anything about it. I only saw a lot of people dressed up (wearing no tights and no coats of course) walking around the Square, where I spent most of my first evenings in Norwich.

Not much later, I found out they all went to the “LCR”, a club on campus (how cool, a nightclub in a university? How many unis have that?) and went to parties on Tuesday nights.

I don’t know why UEA chose Tuesday nights – Wednesday is my only 9 o’clock lecture of the week.

But it turned out to be very… interesting. I don’t know if I should say good, because it’s only open until 2am and feels like a high school disco, but it’s definitely better than Prince of Wales.

That makes it one of the best places to go out in Norwich, because drinks are a lot cheaper than in the city and the people are more relaxed (or maybe just more drunk…)

But there is a difference between the LCR at night and in the day. When it’s used for societies, you notice how sticky the floors are (always keep your shoes on for hiphop training, or you will get stuck to the floor).

It’s like Narnia.

Now I’d like to say something more positive about UEA. There are so many societies here – every sport you can think of, all nationalities, subjects, political parties – even arm wrestling, hummus, fetish and Quidditch. Everything is possible and everyone is welcome.

It’s been strange being at a university where people are always demonstrating, where there are rabbits everywhere, fire drills all the time and funny societies.

But I can say that UEA is wonderful (my uni at home would never have a song like this, but UEA deserves it), and it’s going to be weird not coming back here after the Christmas break.

Maybe I’ll come back just to hang out with everyone in the LCR.